Jul 2, 2014

Forever Family Bliss


One of the best parts of my job here at El Roi is getting to place our precious babies into the arms of their Forever Families for the very first time. In June one of our little men went home to his Forever Family. It was a very special placement with adorable first time parents who were overjoyed to get to meet their baby boy for the first time. I love hearing how the Lord leads families to adopt… it is not an easy journey (typically) and yet they each embark on said journey waiting for the special day they get to meet their baby for the very first time.  It is a journey that is fraught with uncertainties, long periods of waiting and hundreds of unknowable factors… and that all happens BEFROE they meet their baby! I am so grateful that there are people called to adopt. Hand selected to be apart of God beautiful story of adoption and redemption in this broken and hurting world. I am thankful for the daily reminders that God has redeemed me and adopted me into His eternal family. I pray that my life will always reflect the remembrance of this truth.

Here are some pictures of sweet baby boy L's journey to meet his forever family:

Snuggles from his first week home

Celebrating his very first Christmas!

Adoption day outfit, last kisses and hugs!

 Another Forever Family!!!

Jun 6, 2014

Three Months in Review… ready, set, GO!

Greetings from your long lost friend, Nicole! It has been 3 long months since I've taken the time to blog… thank you for those of you who checked in with via Facebook and gmail! It has been a WILD few months but God is at work and is faithful and kind and good and able!!!! I wanted to start my post with the Thomas R. Kelly quote because God experienced is a vast surprise! I pray that you are encouraged and surprised by God and His deep love for you today :)

I think the best way is to update by some pictures from the last few months with a bit about each picture after they've scrolled on by …

We placed two of our babies with families from Holland! Our little dapper looking man went in March and our sweet girl H went home in April. It was a very special experience for our home because it was the first time since opening our home that babies and their forever families came to see the house and meet the Aunties! Both families brought the Aunties and babies a few gifts; one mommy brought us a jar of wooden hearts with a note attached which read, "Dear Aunties, For each kiss, hug and cuddle you gave me, I give you a heart! Lots of love." So very sweet and thoughtful! 


We finally received my mom's envelope of sweet, handmade valentines… just five weeks late but appreciated just the same! (I loved the ones you used the shimmery watercolor paint on best, Mom)


We said goodbye to our friend and international volunteer, Rachel, celebrating her in style complete with a stage show of "Sound of Music", one last (and BEST) visit to the Barnyard Theater and songs and tears at the airport. We miss and love you, Rachel!


Many of you know how we've battled with running water since I moved into this fantastic, yet older, home! In the past 3 months we've had a few long stretches of no running water. We had a 9 day stretch in April (see the bundles of laundry I started handing out to friends and community members to wash for us above) and in May we had a 6 day stretch while we had a stomach flu bug working its way through our home. Eeish! One little man almost had to be hospitalized for dehydration but thankfully with prayer (and aggressive hydration tactics) were able to turn him around. It was a hectic week but we survived and have some funny (sort of) puke stories for babies and Aunties alike!


We are now at full capacity; which means we have 12 babies in our home! Just before the stomach flu hit we welcomed a feisty, funny and very sweet 15 month old home. His transition was bit rough because he had a skin infection that required him to be in isolation for 5 days when he first arrived. But after he was able to play with the kids, his transition flew by and now he is happily settled into his new home. He and our biggest boy are fast friends and partners in crime… our biggest boy is teaching him all the ways of the baby home as you can see from the picture above :)


Our next two arrivals come to us a week apart in arrival and only 2 weeks apart in age. Both were sweet babies that came to us through our friends at the Impact Africa Baby Rescue Center in a nearby informal settlement. It has been such a blessing to see how and when God brings babies into our home. More and more I am convinced that God handpicks the babies He has for us… it is such a blessing to be a place of safety for all these little ones!


Other firsts for the last few months include our first purchase of Refilwe grown, organic spinach for our babies to eat! Inexpensive, healthy and our biggest boy's most favorite veggie grown on our very own property! Also, a first for my dear friend, Megan, who tried on about 100 wedding dresses in one day that ended up with a perfect dress for her (obviously not the one pictured)! She is getting married to a South African in August and we had a very fun week with her mom and best friend in town celebrating her upcoming nuptials! I also received a very special donation: a piano! I took piano lessons when I was in grade school but in no way "play piano"… but it was offered to us and I am hoping to increase my skills and maybe even provide some free voice lessons to some of the kids who live on the other side of the river :)


All of our babies are growing like weeds!!! It is an amazing privilege watching each baby develop at their own rate, each working on become the best little person they've been created to be. Little man on the left is about to crawl, Mr. #1 is practicing his sitting on a daily basis and our biggest boy is testing limits and learning words at an alarming rate! His newest words this week include "awesome" and "keys" and a brave attempt to wrap his mouth around the word "technology". So hysterical! 

Throughout it all, God has been proving His promises to me over and over again. In the midst of chaotic and sometimes very loud days it is my job to simply say; "yes, Daddy" to all that He brings and allows to come my way. It is my job to trust Him and His unfailing love for me. In the song "The Rock Won't Move" the second verse sings:

My hope is in the promise of Your blood
My support within the raging flood
Even in the tempest, I can sing
I'm hidden safe in the God who never moves
Holding fast to the promise of Your truth
That You are holding tighter still to me

Christ is the Rock on which I stand and in Him and through Him I can do all things. It doesn't always FEEL like I can do all things but I trust in Him and His Word. I pray that you will be reminded of His anchoring love today. To be and do what He is calling you to be and do today!


Even on my most tired of days I am grateful to be here in Jo-burg loving on my Father's babies. It is still a ridiculous blessing to be the one to marvel over each finger and toe, each first smile and first step. Thank you to those of you who continue to support and uphold me in so many ways. I literally would not be here without your love, prayers and support.  Thank you for being merciful to me during my lack of blogging! 

Love and miss you! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

~ nicole and all the babies at El Roi

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Feb 14, 2014

Sending You Love…

Happy Valentine's Day! 

We are busy celebrating the day with lots of hugs, kisses and sweets for the Aunties. I pray that you will be reminded of how deeply Christ loves each of you. I pray that you will be reminded of how loved and treasured you are by the One who made you and by the all of the peeps He's given you to!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 5:2

I pray that today you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful reflections of the Lord's affection for you… I most certainly am! 

Much love from Nicole and all the babies at El Roi

The Journey of Surrender

It is a pretty spectacular thing: watching a family be born right in front of your eyes. To see years of prayers answered in a moment. ...